Province providing free online health and safety training

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton speak to the media on May 22, 2020. Screengrab from Premier of Ontario/YouTube.

As more Ontarians head back to work, the provincial government has rolled out an effort to provide health and safety training in the workplace.

Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton announced Friday afternoon a $3-million pledge to provide free, online health and safety training to anyone requiring it. The online courses will make it easier for business owners and employees as they return to work following a pandemic-related layoff, as well as provide job seekers with the certification and training they need to aid their job search.

In his daily news briefing at Queens Park, Ford said the training would ensure people get the expertise they need while slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“This virtual approach to safety training will ensure employers and employees have access to the latest information without the need to physically interact with others,” said Ford. “In this way, we also reduce the risk of spreading this deadly virus.”

Ten online courses are being offered, covering a variety of topics, which include infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention, and preventing workplace violence and harassment. McNaughton said the training would be done via Employment Ontario service providers.

“By providing critical online training for free through the Employment Ontario network, this $3-million investment will help up to 100,000 people learn from the safety of their own homes,” said McNaughton.

McNaughton also announced that training would be made available online for joint health and safety committee members in workplaces, with the oversight of Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer.

“Training will be available in real-time through video-conferencing with qualified instructors,” said McNaughton. “The courses will cover how to establish a committee, resolving health and safety issues, workforce inspections, and accident investigations.”

The Chief Prevention Officer is also extending the timeframe needed for 8,000 safety committee members to complete refresher courses. For those whose certifications would have expired between February 28 and August 31 of this year, the new deadline is November 30 and can be performed online.

Job seekers interested in the online training should contact their local Employment Ontario branch to enroll.